|Index||3 reviews in total|
20 out of 24 people found the following review useful:
A disturbing and uncomfortable film that is difficult to like, 19 October 2012
Author: Roger Pettit from London
"Simon Killer" is an odd, bleak and deeply unsettling film that I
simply could not get to grips with. It tells the story of a young
American neuroscience graduate, Simon (Brady Corbet). Simon leaves the
United States and goes to Paris in an attempt to get over the somewhat
traumatic break-up of a five-year relationship with his girlfriend
Michelle (a character who does not appear in the film). There is
something not quite right about Simon. He is a bit like Patricia
Highsmith's well-known anti-hero Tom Ripley: cold, unfeeling, amoral
and emotionally unintelligent. He is also a compulsive liar.
Soon after his arrival in the French capital (where he initially stays with a cousin of his - who is, in fact, not really a relation but a friend of the family), Simon goes into a sex club where he pays for sex with one of the resident prostitutes, Victoria (Mati Diop). As a result of that encounter, he develops a relationship with her and later moves into her small flat. Victoria opens up to Simon and tells him intimate details of her past, including the fact that she miscarried some time ago. Simon is less willing to disclose information about himself to Victoria. Indeed, one of the many problems with the film is that the viewer is given little or no hint as to what actually motivates Simon and why he frequently behaves so oddly. Part of that oddness is his attitude to women, whom he seems to view as nothing more than objects of sexual desire. At the same time, he attempts to blackmail some of Victoria's "customers" in order to finance his stay in Paris. He later meets another attractive young woman, whom he had bumped into earlier in his stay, and begins a brief relationship with her. This understandably upsets Victoria. Things move on from there.
"Simon Killer" is a very unpleasant film. It is full of graphic sex scenes, many of which are quite unnecessary in that they add little or nothing to plot or character development. In addition, Simon is a deeply unsympathetic character. It is left to the viewer to decide why he is like he is. There are hints that he has some sort of Oedipus complex or perhaps a personality disorder (or both). What is clear is that he is an extremely selfish and shallow person who lacks any sort of empathy for other people. Much of the plot has the feel of improvisation about it. And it's really not at all clear what the message of the film is. In addition to all that, I was simply not convinced by the relationship between Simon and Victoria, in particular why, of all her many "customers", she would choose him as someone with whom to have a serious relationship. Although the conclusion of the film is well done, much of what precedes it is ponderous and lethargic and, as a result, extremely boring. The soundtrack, however, is one of the best of any film that I have seen. But when all is said and done, "Simon Killer" is an unsatisfactory film that is difficult to recommend. 5/10
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Unusual and challenging film..., 13 April 2013
Author: stsinger from Boston, MA
"Simon Killer" may the toughest film I've ever tried to categorize.
It's not a horror film, it's not a thriller, it's not a romance, and
it's not a drama. And yet, in another way, it *is* all of those. From
the very title of the movie to the closing scene, this film defies all
"Simon Killer" is the story of Simon, played brilliantly by Brady Corbet, who has just graduated from college and comes to Paris to get over a bad breakup. We never meet Michelle, his ex, but based on Simon's e-mails to her and her reply, it was not a happy breakup, and maybe even worse than that. While there, he meets a drop-dead gorgeous hooker (Mati Diop) and they start a relationship.
I could discuss more of the plot -- and there is definitely more, involving blackmail attempts and other events -- but really, it's irrelevant. The film basically invites us to watch Simon and what he does. And it's engrossing. And the question is, what IS Simon, really. He's not really a pleasant guy. Why is he doing what he's doing? Is he a pathological liar? Or just a confused kid telling small lies in a foreign land. Does he hate women and think they are only for sex? Or is it the opposite, and he gets deeply emotionally involved. "Simon Killer" is fascinating and potentially frustrating as it invites you to watch and yet refuses to give pat answers and instead, seems to raise more questions.
Film, like all art, is subjective, and I found "Simon Killer" absolutely riveting. You may find it disturbing and uncomfortable, but I think it's worth the ride.
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
"Can I just look at you?", 12 April 2013
Author: saad_sa11 from Prague, Czech Republic
Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy. Thankfully, was able to catch this in the
Institute of Contemporary Arts here in London. I was expecting to be
disappointed because I had such high hopes after AFTERSCHOOL and was
ready to agree with my friends that this would be wanky, but they
actually really dug it. Even with all the nudity and visually arresting
red-and-blue strobe transitions. Maybe I just have more open-minded
friends who just trust my taste in movies, but they really took
something out of it and we discussed quite a lot on the way back which
was mostly about Simon's psyche.
Simon is a fascinating character. Brady Corbet really commits to an incredibly personal and unsettling persona.
Disturbing, confusing, creepy, trippy holiday from hell. Yes, it's about an American who's just broken up and goes to France to hook up with a prostitute but it's done in the most arty, otherworldly style. It's just so primal from the cinematography (lots of behind person camera tracking shots) down to the score of drones and drums getting you right into the head of Simon. GOOD LORD THE SOUNDTRACK! "It Takes A Muscle To Fall In Love", LCD Soundsystem. I think this one has SPRING BREAKERS beat for this year in terms of foreboding score and licensed synth-pop tracks. But just as you're about to get comfortable, the music is abruptly stopped which fits Simon's character.
The way the camera operates in this very voyeuristic, CCTV robot-like manner (just like in AFTERSCHOOL). It'll have the camera focus on a table with a girl laying down the groceries (bananas and bags of cocaine), then to her movements, characters talking, and eventually resulting in a long shot where you're just been immersed into everything rather than just the dialogue.
It just makes for a very claustrophobic experience, and you can't wait to breath for the next day to come.
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